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Further GPSI blow

The controversial expansion of GPSIs has suffered a new blow after a study found no evidence they provided better care than standard GPs.

Patients with diabetes attending 10 specialist diabetes clinics did no better than those under routine care at 10 general practices.

The researchers conceded GPSIs might be taking on tougher cases than other GPs, but the findings will nevertheless put the expansion of GPSIs under pressure. Research earlier in the year doubted their cost-effectiveness.

In the new study, published in Diabetic Medicine (August), both types of care were effective at reducing HbA1C, cholesterol and blood pressure, but with no significant difference between them.

Mr Andrew Scally, a researcher on the study and senior lecturer at the University of Bradford school of health studies, said: 'There was an expectation the specialist clinics would produce a higher standard of care. It's difficult to justify investing a lot money in care for which there's no evidence of effectiveness.'

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